NEWARK, N.J. -- As if the Florida Panthers needed yet another injury to a key player, forward Shawn Matthias left Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils briefly after being hit in the face with a deflected puck 9:56 into the second period.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov took a shot from the right circle that appeared to be blocked by Devils forward Ryan Carter before hitting Matthias in the face. Matthias left the game on his own power. He returned at the start of the third period with several stitches above his left eye.
Matthias has nine goals and 12 points in 31 games this season.
I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.
— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday